The intention of the constituency projects initiative is to ensure equity in the allocation of development projects nationwide.
The Federal Government has come up with guidelines for the execution and implementation of Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) also referred to as Constituency Projects (CP).
This is according to a circular issued by the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and dispatched to all Ministers and Senior Government officials, including Permanent Secretaries of federal ministries, the Head of Service, the Office of the Chief of Staff to Mr. President, the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN) among others.
Titled: “Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) and Constituency Projects (CP),” and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, the circular states that the guidelines would further strengthen the processes and procedures for carrying out constituency projects.
It added that moving forward, only the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs has the mandate to certify payments of Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIPs) and Constituency Projects (CP) executed by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
The circular read in part “No payment shall be made to any contractor for ZIP/CP by MDAs without verification of the execution of such projects/programmes and certification by the Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs.”
It said the re-issuance of the guidelines had become imperative due to flagrant disregard by implementing MDAs, adding that “implementing MDAs shall invite the ministry of special duties to verify all (ZIP/CP) as contained in both ZIP Appropriation and Capital Appropriation.”
On the issue of funding for the verification exercise, the circular stated that “Funds for the purpose of this verification exercise shall be sourced from the Project Administration Funds of the ZIP/CP under the purview of the various MDAs.”
The intention of the ZIP is to ensure equity in the allocation of projects nationwide. To achieve this, each year, the National Assembly budgets funds, a portion of which is allocated for the execution of projects in constituencies.
However, the initiative has been marred with controversies even as a section of the country has called for it to be scrapped over allegations of corruption.